These were the cities appointed for all the children of Israel, and for the stranger that sojourneth among them, that whosoever killeth any person at unawares might flee thither, and not die by the hand of the avenger of blood, until he stood before the congregation.
Satan the accuser chases hard after us. His pursuit is relentless, and he is out for blood. Perhaps at times we feel his presence closing in on us, feel the cold touch of evil upon us. We pick up our pace. We grit our teeth and try to ignore our burning lungs as we run for our lives. His taunts ring out from behind us, condemning us and spewing lies and hateful words toward us like stones, rocks, boulders. And just when we feel we can’t take one more step, just when we feel our energy is gone and we are in danger of being caught, we see our refuge rising up in front of us with an open gate inviting us in.
If we’ve chosen to flee from the evil one, Jesus will be our refuge. He is always our safe place to go. He is our refuge first in salvation, when He saves us from eternal death and punishment. But He is our refuge in any circumstances that may occur in our lives. If we sin unwittingly, we turn to Him for forgiveness and help. If we’ve willingly sinned, we can come to Him with a broken heart of repentance and be restored. When we’re chased and haunted by the workings of sin in our life, we’ve just got to get to Jesus. And what a relief it is when we get there.
Jesus is easily accessible. We can get to Him from anywhere. He is strong and offers protection. We can depend on Him. He is always there for us, just waiting for us to come. His perpetual invitation always stands for anyone who would receive it. These cities of refuge were not just for the children of Israel, but for the strangers, as well. They would not be excluded from the merciful provision of God, and they could also flee to these cities and be saved.
God will not deny salvation to those who seek it with an open heart. God will not deny help to those who cry to Him out of desperation. God will not leave us defeated and broken along the way. He will not allow Satan to be victorious over us. He will not allow evil to reign forever. There are simply times in our lives when we’ve messed up, when we’ve done wrong or disobeyed. Let’s lean completely on Jesus as the ultimate refuge from anything that may hunt us down in our lives.